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Alayna’s No-Makeup Photo Shoot Will Make You Pause for Thought

Saudi Arabian brand Alayna released its Resort 2017 campaign with an impactful twist. Founding designer Reem Bin Musallam collaborated with LA performance artists Samania to shoot the collection on the streets of Dubai using an iPhone, with models sporting zero makeup, and with no additional lighting. The results make a statement about the impact of natural, unedited beauty, and showcases the fashion offering with a stamp of confidence most brands would shy away from. While Alayna was launched as a womenswear label, Musallam found that her customer base reached the men’s department too, resulting in the house repositioning itself as unisex. Vogue Arabia speaks to the designer and the artists about its groundbreaking shoot.

Alayna Resort 2017. Photographed by LA-based performance artist Samania. Courtesy of Alayna

Alayna Resort 2017. Photographed by LA-based performance artist Samania. Courtesy of Alayna

“My Resort 2017 collection is inspired by women and their individuality so I wanted the lookbook to represent this in a powerful way,” Bin Musallam tells Vogue Arabia. “We came across Samania and found their vision and body of work very inspiring. They are both strong, empowered women so we knew they would be perfect for artistic direction and execution of the lookbook.” The collection is on-point for the final throes of Ramadan and will see you through the extremes of the Middle Eastern climate. “The contrast of the fluid silhouettes and unfinished edges against the construction sites in Dubai has created some beautiful and unique imagery,” reflects Musaliam. “We share Alayna’s interest in combining art and fashion for the purpose of promoting and connecting women’s voices,” adds the artistic duo behind Samania.

To capture the unfinished finery of the Resort 2017 collection, Samania used this sartorial aspect as fuel for the mood-boarding of the shoot. “There is beauty not only in the finished product but also in the clothes’ details that demonstrate that there is still work to be done,” says Samania. “Instead of aiming to present polished perfection and glamour… We had no makeup artist, no hairstylist, no equipment, just each other, one camera and the collection, and that’s all we needed to tell our story.” This is just the type of fashion-meets-art collaboration that will ironically make more noise for being understated.

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